Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OULIPOST #15: serious case

serious case

science errors overrun
our neurons as memories
worsen in a serious
arms race never worn out since
we are now aware our cars
run on arms and our moon race
increases minor murmurs

I added the constraint of seven lines of seven syllables to "the prisoner's constraint," since I was feeling pretty challenged to make sense of the words themselves. You might call this "the prisoner's constraint squared."

Except for "moon," the words for this poem were sourced from "Why We Keep Losing Our Keys: Everyday Memory Lapses Hit at Any Age; Training to Find Things Faster" by Sumathi Reddy in the Health and Wellness section of the WSJ, April 15, 2014, D1-2.

The Prisoner's Constraint:
Imagine a prisoner whose supply of paper is restricted. To put it to fullest use, he will maximize his space by avoiding any letter extending above or below the line (b, d,f,g,h,j,k,l,p,q,t and y) and use only a,c,e,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x and z. Compose a poem using only words that can be made from these letters AND which you source from your newspaper text. (The Found Poetry Review)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

OULIPOST POEM #9: What's in an NBA Agent's Bag?

 What's in an NBA Agent's Bag?

Big Hedge Funds
Puerto Rican Debt
No-Mess Crafts
Whole Foods
Lavender-filled Teddy Bears from Tasmania 

OULIPOST PROMPT #9: Headlines (Variations of Jean Queval’s “Cent On”) – Compose a poem whose body is sourced from article headlines in your newspaper.  This poem was created with headlines from the April 9, 2014 Wall Street Journal:

What's in an NBA Agent's Bag?

Lavender-filled Teddy Bears from Tasmania
are a Big Hit in China

Big Hedge Funds Roll Dice on Puerto Rica Debt

Moms Pay whatever it takes for No-Mess Crafts

It's Really Hard to be a Whole Foods Clone

Thursday, April 3, 2014

OULIPOST POEM #3: Queen of the Night


Every period of darkness between one day 
and the next--the time day of when no light 
from the sun can be seen and most people 

and animals sleep--she places the part 
of the body she sees with in a state of touching 
with the part of the body someone else 

sees with, in an attractive manner that flows 
clearly from the source. She does this with a group 
of human beings gathered around a common 

interest and settled in close proximity--
separated merely by the distance 
of an upper human limb.

Directions for the "Definitional Lit" assignment: "Select a single sentence from a newspaper article. Replace each meaningful word in the text [verb, noun, adjective, adverb] by its dictionary definition. Repeat this treatment on the resulting sentence, and so on, until you’ve had enough!"

Here's the sentence I chose:
"Every night, she makes direct, engaging eye contact with people seated just an arm's length away."

From "Valerie Benoit-Charbonneau on Acting, Improvising and Eye Contact in 'Queen of the Night'," in the April 2, 2014 online edition of the WSJ.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oulipost Poem #2: MY BID

The LIPOGRAM assignment for today required me to omit from my poem any words that use letters in my chosen newspaper’s title. It turns out that The Wall Street Journal includes all of the vowels except “I,” and many popular vowels that combine with I:  H, N, S, T as well as J and W. This means that the only vowel in my chosen words is I, but I can’t use: “in,” “it,” “is,”  “hi,” “his” . . . not to mention countless other combinations. Toughest restriction I’ve ever worked with!

My Bid

big fig gig
bid Xi dig

I began by searching an article in the April 2 issue of the WSJ about China admitting French pork into its markets, but was only able to use the first name of the Chinese President and the source of the pork product, with a few others words that, frankly, came from a short list I compiled of possibilities that fit the restriction.

Oulipost Poem #1: Cereal Killer

Cereal Killer

After years of planting one massive crop after another, U. S. Corn farmers are planning to pull back.

“It’s a different world than we were in just a couple years ago,” said Patrick Westfhoff.

Growing global competition is emerging as rapid growth in corn demand at home ends.

Record-setting corn prices spurred production elsewhere.

Thousands of metric tons rejected by China because they contained a genetically modified strain unapproved in that country.

On the Kansas-Oklahoma border, Kenny Mitchell is trying to navigate price-swings.

“Selling the corn is almost as important as raising it.”

This poem, a quote cento, was written entirely with phrases from The Wall Street Journal for April 1, 2014. "Cereal Killer" was created from a single article, “Corn Farmers’ Seed of Doubt” by Mark Peters and Tony C. Dreibus, p. A3.  The title comes from a chart accompanying the article. I can say that my first experiment with this form led me to read far more of the newspaper in the morning than I usually do.